The Instigator
Con (against)
1 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

United States actions in foreign countries.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/14/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 887 times Debate No: 40518
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (1)




The purpose of this debate, one which I intend to enjoy with my opponent, is to argue the United States' influence in the Middle East. I have taken the side of con (that which will prove that influence in the Middle East is unethical and otherwise wrong), and challenge any user to take the side of pro (to prove the United States has the right to influence foreign powers). First round for acceptance.


I accept this debate and wish the best of luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1


I refuse to begin with a fancy introduction, so I begin with this. Not long ago, the Syrian government began using chemical weapons attacks against the rebels. Nothing much wrong with that. It's still killing innocents, but what can you do? The major controversy was the government was using the weaponry on their own defenseless citizens. Still not much wrong with that, if it wins your war. But people worldwide, average citizens or diehard humanitarians were infuriated. Not much later, President Barack Obama (who I have no personal problem against) presented the idea of military action against Syria. MILITARY. ACTION. Not only is this a case of public opinion influencing politicians, but it's completely unethical, and hypocritical. The Monroe Doctrine decreed that any and all European countries attempting to colonize the Americas would be treated as hostile, and dealt with as such. However, this rule does not seem to apply to the United States itself. For example. In Iran, 1953, United States forces allied with the British military to overthrow the democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. Why? Because Mohammad Mossadegh planned to nationalize Iran's petrol industry, which threatened the gas company BP's business (Anglo-Iranian Oil Company at the time). My question is this: Why should America (or any other country) be allowed to interfere in foreign countries? Not only was this a complete violation of the natural rights of the Iranians and their country as a whole, the country was ruled under a democratic government, something America has sworn to "protect". Apparently as long as it suits our interests.


Alright lets get this thing started. First off I would like to make this known that I do not believe that the United States is the white angel of god and has never or never will do anything bad. Of course we have. Of course we've done some shady stuff, of course we've done things purely for our own interests, of course we've made mistakes. What do you expect? What country doesn't? Just letting you know that.

Now one thing before I begin my arguments I would like for Pro to do something in his next round. He has expressed that he is against US influence and actions in foreign affairs. In his opening round he has pointed out things like military intervention and political influence. Cool cool. But what about all the good we do in the world? What about the 30-40 billion dollars a year that our government spend on humanitarian and foreign aid? The leading country by the way in humanitarian aid.[1] What about when we do things like disaster relief like the current aid we are giving to the Philippines?[2] We've spent millions of our tax dollars to help these people and are now using military resources to help them. Examples of American aid to[3] That 1.5 billion a year we give to Egypt is pretty much the only way they are able to feed their people. Are these not examples of foreign influence? So pretty much what I'm wanting to get at is that if Con is saying he is against US influence in foreign nations then that means ALL US influence in the world. Including foreign aid. And so in Cons next round I request, no, demand that he also announce that he is against these things as well and that if the US should stop its political and military influence it must also stop things such as foreign and humanitarian aid and dictator relief. I didn't include private and charity organizations in my stats but since Con has not differentiated between the US government or the US population and merely states that "United States actions in foreign countries" then these must also be ended under Cons position.


So on to counter arguments.
Your bring up the current Syrian conflict. A very difficult and uncertain topic. Ill start by addressing your issue with the chemical weapons. You seem to be under the impression that the use of chemical weapons is not a bad thing and is allowable. I mean, as you said "Nothing much wrong with that. It's still killing innocents, but what can you do?" Accept... It isn't. The US belongs to this thing called the United Nations and the United Nations, not just the US, has certain rules and policies that those under the UN charter tend to follow. As you can see here [4] chemical weapons are completely and totally banned. Their use for any reason whether it be for military or other is completely unacceptable. As you can see here [5] nations that are apart of the UN are obligated and all most demanded to take action against the building, procurement and especially use of chemical weapons. And as you can see here [6] both the US and Syria are part of the UN and thus, and both nations have agreed to this, are responsible to these laws and policies. So your assertion that President Obamas desire to seek military action due to "a case of public opinion influencing politicians." is highly unlikely and "it's completely unethical, and hypocritical." is flat out false sense POTUS is required by international law to be against Syria's use of chemical weapons and is also obligated to take whatever means necessary to prevent future use of said weapons by said named country.

I really don't see why you even brought up the Monroe Doctrine sense I fail to see how this has anything to do with American influence in the world. This is a pretty straight forward doctrine that states that if a foreign nation attempts to colonize parts of the Americas it will be considered hostile intent. Well no crap. What do you think it means? I mean its pretty much like saying that if Russia lands paratroopers in Alaska to build a Russian city that we should take action against that. Do you disagree with that? And this applies to the Americas and has nothing to do with the rest of the world so like I said I fail to see why you brought it up. Now if what you are saying is that the US is hypocritical for this doctrine sense we are trying to colonize other countries well then I will contest that we are not. When was the last time we actually colonized someplace? I'm almost positive you'll probably bring up something like Iraq or Afghanistan so I ask you are we colonizing these places? If we are we are doing a pretty poor job of it. So we conquered Iraq and had complete control of the nation. Did we start sending in citizens to set up the 51st state and rename Iraq New America? No instead we spent billions of our tax dollars to rebuild their nation for them, help them establish a government and military, and then what did we do? We left. Doesn't sound like colonization to me. [7] Same thing with Afghanistan. Now you might try to say this is Neo-Colonization, well thing is they don't really do what we tell them to nor do they really follow our interests so...


And finally the Issue of the Iran coup of 1953. Now personally, I feel that this was definitely not one of the US's brighter moments and goes with what I first stated that the US has and will do some shady stuff and that we will operate for the sole purpose to better our interests and that we have made mistakes. I will not defend what the US did that year however I will point out several reasons for why the US decided to get involved and other possibilities that could have happened had the coup not occurred. First off had the coup not occurred then there was the very likely possibility that the Great Britain would have invaded Iran. Obviously not the best route to take. The US had several reasons to get involved one of which obviously is the oil and the revenue we would have been denied under Mossadegh. Another and I consider the more serious one is that thanks to the coup we were able to secure a deal with the Shah insuring that Iran would not become an ally of the Soviet Union. I hope I don't have to go into the importance of this since this is the 50s were talking about and the Cold War was a pretty big deal and so the US would probably do anything during this time to insure the Soviet Union would not gain any more power. The British asked us to and we are major allies. And lastly the fact that Mossadegh wanted to nationalize the Iranian oil was a solid breach of previously established contracts made between the Iranian government and AIOC. Maybe this isn't a big deal to you, I know I don't really care, but this is still an issue and actually a case of unethical politics and business committed by Mossadegh. One last thing Id like to point out is the hypocritical misconception and flat lie that this was an act of evil committed by the big bad Americans and that we are to blame even though this was primarily a British operation and only occurred do to the desires of the British and the controversy between Mossadeghs desire to nationalize Iran's oil and the already established contracts held by the British oil company AIOC.


Well that will wrap up my first presentation. I look forward to my opponents next round and as always good luck.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank Con for pointing out this "flaw" in my argument, as it is something I failed to address in my previous turn. Also, *Except, *It's, and *Since x2. How do you expect someone to take you seriously when you can't spell simple words properly? You also lack in punctuation. And I do feel that even humanitarian aid falls under otherwise wrong manipulations of foreign policy. You stated that 30-40 billion dollars go into humanitarian aid? I understand the numbers may be bigger than this, but that 30-40 billion could go a long way if redirected to domestic affairs. As long as it doesn't go toward our military budget, but that's a debate for another day. You also suggest that the Monroe Doctrine is unrelated to this topic. However, I can assure you it is. As the simple doctrine states, any foreign country's attempts to invade America will be treated as hostile and will be responded to as such. However, this does not seem to apply to America itself, as we have interfered in Iran, Afghanistan, and multiple other countries in the Middle East, and we still haven't had any bombs dropped on us yet, my argument being (this being a repetition) that we are hypocritical for saying no one else can interfere with us, and yet we're allowed to interfere with others. Now, a completely honest opinion, and perhaps the whole story behind this debate. I don't think countries should even be within thirty feet of each other. Interaction between different ethnic groups has always ended badly. Middle Ages? We've got religious wars between Muslims and Christians because one didn't like the other, and now we have Americans versus Iranians, Iraqis, Afghans, and Syrians. And no, we didn't set up Iran as the 51st state. We did help set up a government. A government WE like. What if the people WANTED a monarchy? Or a dictatorship? Sure, maybe they don't, but what if they had? Would America have allowed that? No. Because citizens are sheep, and support the opinion that democracy is awesome, and anyone who doesn't like democracy is a moron. And it doesn't matter that the Iranian coup was primarily a British operation. America helped fund the op, as well as donated troops. All because of "dirty" business. Mossadegh was acting in what he believed to be the interests of his country. Were Britain and America acting within their rights to overthrow a government all because they didn't like what they were doing with their oil? Shouldn't that mean if we (as Americans) don't like the Affordable Care Act, we can kill Obama for introducing it, and threaten Congress and the Supreme Court into removing the law? No. And back to the subject of Syria and their chemical weapons. So what if they're in the UN? And so what is chemical weapons are outlawed by the UN? The government was in a civil war, and decided to end it in a way they deemed quick. Unless they were launching these weapons at Poland, they were well within their rights to end a war that could have torn the country apart. And what about Egypt? I have no issue with the unseating of Mohammed Morsi, who from what I've read was a pretty brutal president (democratically elected no less). My problem is the US not responding to the military attacking the Muslim Brotherhood. And allowing the military to take over. For aren't we supposed to favor democracy over a junta? As a conclusion, all countries inevitably will settle their own problems. When they begin to encroach upon our and our allies' borders is when we are allowed ethically to intervene.


hmm. Well forgive me for the lack of the ' in it's, but honestly I don't really care, everyone knows what was meant. Also expect was spelled correct and my bad on the "since" instead of sense. But once again I don't care. Honestly I think that third sentence of yours was an Ad Homonym but ill let the voters decided that. Now it appears to me that I am debating an anarchist which changes this quite drastically. I've debated them before and it is near impossible since they really wont listen to a thing you say and I honestly just cant comprehend how they come to their ideology. If that's wrong and your not then I apologize but that's what it seems to me. Any how... on to the arguments.

You say you are against humanitarian aid and I find this somewhat shameful. As humans is it not our duty to aid those less fortunate then ourselves? We already spend hundreds of billions on ourselves, and while you are right in the fact that we could use that 30-40 billion for ourselves I just really don't think it's going to make that much of a difference. And once again you insist on bring up the Monroe Doctrine (MD). As I said this has no place in this debate since this is about foreign aggression against America not American influence in foreign affairs. I really can't grasp what you fail to understand about this so let me try and paint a clearer picture. The MD states that if we are attacked by a foreign nation then we will treat it as hostile and act accordingly. So if Russia invades Alaska and starts setting up settlements then we will respond to this aggression. This has absolutely nothing to do with how we act when dealing with foreign affairs. You seem to be under the impression that it is hypocritical for us to attack someone else when we have the MD. What? You brought up Iraq and Afghan and said "we haven't had bombs drooped on us yet." So? What do you think the MD acts as a magic power which makes countries like Iraq unable to attack us even if we attack them? If they wanted to attack us they could of. We would have treated it as hostile, just like the MD states, but they still could have. Its not like it outlaws them form doing this. Only reason they didn't was because they couldn't. First off cause it would be utter suicide and second off cause they were to busy fighting us on their turf. If this doesn't clear things up for you then please in your next round explain what you think the MD is and what it does.[1]

You brought up how counties shouldn't be even within thirty feet of each other and I'm not really even going to touch this (anarchist crap) and all ill say is how are we supposed to grow as a species and hopefully remove borders and become united if we do stuff like that?

As for democracy in Iraq, it IS what the people wanted and that's what we helped them achieve.[2] I'm pretty sure it was the Iraqis that voted for their leaders and I kinda recall them being the ones who were doing things like tearing down Saddams statues and what not. So... Yeah.

No we cant kill Obama for the ACA but we can call upon our elected representatives to do what they can about that law or any other we don't care for. That's how it works. I did state that I was not a supporter of the Iranian coup but I feel that you are against it for the wrong reasons. Your simply against it because you don't like America doing anything outside of the US. You said Mossadegh was acting in his countries best interest and America was just didn't like what he was doing with the oil. Well isn't that in OUR interests? Should we not act on what is best for our nation from time to time? Or is this unreasonable. Like I said, what we did kept the oil business flowing which not only stabilized the region but also the economies of several nations throughout the world. It benefited both nations economies and most importantly kept Iraq from joining the Soviet Union, which would have extremely bad for everyone.

Once again you go into Syria and say its ok to use chemical weapons and "So what if they are in the UN." (anarchist) It does matter and the vast majority of the world cares. I've already covered all of this in round one but for the sake of things lets get this straight. The globally accepted law is that chemical weapons are bad. End. Of. Discussion. I'm sure I know the answer but do you believe that we should not have law and order and that there should be no UN or something of the like? And no. They were in no way, shape or form within their rights to used said weapons. They are apart of the UN and they agreed to the laws of the UN and so they are bound to these laws. once again, End. Of. Discussion. If you disagree with this then your going to have to end the UN cause what you want or what I want does not change what IS.

Egypt? Well in both cases we were acting along with what the people of that nation wanted. The Muslim Brotherhood brought all of that upon them selves what with the rioting and the killings and the attempts at creating a civil war. America acted exactly as it should have with this situation.

I'm sorry but I'm extremely busy so that's all I have time for. Good luck in your next round.
Debate Round No. 3


I do thank my opponent for his extremely good conduct, and I hope the voters take this into account when voting. It was indeed my bad on the expect, I thought you meant except. I have reread your previous argument, and have seen my mistake. And I do find that anarchy is so far a better option than most other governmental options, since it's every man/woman/child for themselves, thus endangering only one person to a small group of people when stupid decisions are made, not the entire country's population. But we digress. In response to your views on humanitarian aid, I find this subject tricky. But you've said it is out duty as humans to help others. Humans are animals. Intelligent animals, but animals none the less. The only reason we help others now is because A) If the government doesn't, a large group of people won't like them, and officials don't want to lose their political seats so quickly, and B) We just feel sorry for others. If the government didn't care, than we wouldn't DO this whole humanitarian thing. Also, you have to choose. Am I RIGHT about the 30-40 billion dollar thing, or do you think it wouldn't work, and I am therefore WRONG? And about the MD. While I do think it would be suicidal (get it? Suicidal?) for the Middle Eastern countries, who by no means have the strength to go to all out war with America, to attack in retaliation for us interfering in their affairs. I believe it should be the Europeans and Asians (Russians, Iraqis, Afghans, and Iranians included since they are a part of the Eurasian continent) who should be angry. The MD states it is an act of war for any European country to attempt to colonize American soil, which is true. However, why is it that Europe, Russia, China, etc., don't force some kind of punishment upon Americans and each other for interfering on the Asian continent and Arabian Peninsula? Isn't it the UN's job to settle these disputes without violence, and to stop them from happening in the first place? Moving on. Also, constructive grammatical advice in your second section (I've divided your arguments using your links as separations): Next time, say "I'm not going to touch this (anarchist) crap" instead of "(anarchist crap)". I understand that you are "extremely busy" for reasons you do not need to explain (we all have lives we need to take care of), but grammar is a fundamental part of society. And how is my separation idea anarchistic? I do hope you understand the meaning of the word. Just in case though: Anarchy is A) Absence of any form of political authority, B) Political disorder and confusion, or C) Absence of any cohesive principle, such as a common standard or purpose. Anarchism is A) The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished, B) Active resistance and terrorism against the state, as used by some anarchists, or C) Rejection of all forms of coercive control and authority.(, I merely believe that if any boundaries between peoples are to exist at all, we should strictly abide by them, and leave others to do as they please. When these boundaries are erased on maps, and ignored by all world countries, only then will we as a species grow and unite. And no, I exaggerated with the whole assassinating Obama thing (do you think the NSA sees this? I really don't want them tattling on me to the CIA so they can black-bag me). Of course we can't just kill our leaders over stupid, but well-intended laws. But again, the only reason this would be repealed is because America is supposed to be democratic, and if our legislators didn't even touch the subject, they wouldn't get reelected. But once again, we digress. And to avoid discussing this in later rounds, I suppose I have to agree that as a part of the UN, Syria couldn't have used chemical weapons. But the UN should have helped stop the conflict if the proposition was made and the Syrian government or the Syrian rebels accepted. My issue with all of these foreign affairs is the lack of authoritative permission, which I'll let you argue for or against later. And by authoritative permission, I mean the government (the head honchos in charge) allowing outsiders to do something in their country. As for our little Iranian coup, I am against it for the right reasons, which you have presented for the voters to see. Not only to you name-drop Iraq a lot on the subject of Iran, but Iran was acting in it's best interests, opening up it's oil to a larger group of buyers. Good for them. And England and America were well within their rights to act in THEIR interests. However, by this I mean to formally petition for change in the UN, or to go begging on their knees to Mossadegh's feet. However, we decided to murder a ruler, effectively establishing a monarchy (something we're supposedly against) and the Shah, a very unpopular ruler in Iranian history. And finally, Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood "had it coming"? Again, we interfered in a country's affairs, and established a military-ruled government. The Muslim Brotherhood may have had some unethical policies (by first-world standards anyway), but they were the ruling party. The military attempted to overthrow and murder their rulers. If anything, we should have been helping the Brotherhood! Above protecting (note: 'Murica's supposed to protect democratic ideals, not enforce them) democracy, we, at least according you, are supposed to protect order. We, by supporting rebels, are creating an image that it's okay to overthrow a government, because you can run to big momma America and she'll protect you. So, I've responded to your argument, and I have nothing to add, so I have to get back to my own life. Take your time ending this round.... Or don't for all I care. One more forfeited round is one less I have to spend time on.


Hello again everyone. So you are an anarchist. That is totally fine as everyone is free to choose for themselves and I mean no disrespect towards them. I just don't find their philosophies to be very reasonable or realistic, IMHO. I feel as if this debate has moved from comparing facts and into the realm of my beliefs vs your beliefs and your opinions vs my opinions and that just really isn't the most progressive thing we could be doing. For instance your ideas on humanitarian aid to me are... inconsiderate. That is your opinion though and mine is that we should help the less fortunate. There's really no sure way to decide who is right and who is wrong here. So I think its just best for us to move on from there.

Once again we come to the MD lol. You know other countries do get angry with the US when we do such things. They speak out against us and they do what they can in UN council to get us to either stop or lessen what we can do. I'm guessing what you want is for places like Russia or China or the UK to invade the US for what we do but how can they do that when they are doing the exact same thing? Why would they do it since it would end in the destruction of their militaries. And why would (for the most of them) they act out against one of their largest allies? And the UN's job isn't so much to "settle these disputes without violence, and to stop them from happening in the first place?" but to lessen these issues and try and resolve them as swiftly and peacefully as possible. Its completely unrealistic to think that they could completely stop or prevent wars and such from happening. So they do what they can.

I get what you are saying about the boundaries thing. Its just that it isn't realistic either way. If we have boundaries we cant just close our gates off to the rest of the world. How else will we ever learn to grow and cooperate and one day hopefully achieve that world peace thing everyone dreams so much about. Especially with the growth of our population and the increase in peoples needs like medicine and food, international trade and cooperation is really the only way our species can grow and develop. And getting rid of boundaries and just all getting along just isn't really achievable. Unrealistic.

I knew you were kidding about the kill Obama thing lol, but I'm pretty sure the NSA is watching this. So watch yourself :)

Just noticed the spot where I said Iraq instead of Iraq. My bad. I feel like enough has been said on this subject, and so anything further would just be a repeat of previous rounds.

And lastly Egypt. I disagree with your idea that we should have been on the MBs side instead of the military. Yes this was an event of military overthrow of a democratic leader but it was done to preserve democracy and to end the reign of a man who was becoming a tyrant. It was done in the interest of the people by the will of the people. And they are taking all steps to end the military rule and reelect a democratically chosen ruler. Saying we should have sided with a tyrannical group just because they were chosen democratically is kinda foolish in my opinion.

Well that's all I have time for.
Debate Round No. 4


Well, I'm glad we've gotten past anarchy and the NSA, and that this debate has gone relatively peacefully. On to the MD! Yes, I understand that countries get angry at the US, and I understand that other countries themselves do things politically unethical just like the big Eagle, my argument being that someone should bring down the hammer on these governments for their actions. And if it led to the destruction of their militaries, all the better. But that's a debate for another day. Now, as for the UN, I fully believe that it should have the power to end and prevent conflicts between the members of the union. They entered the organization knowing there would be some limitations on power, and yet there is no actual punishment inflicted upon those who infringe upon other countries! The UN is essentially a congress of multiple nations, like the EU is to Europe, or to a lesser extent the United States to what were the British colonies. The UN should have the powers associated with such a congress, one of which is, again, the ability to punish it's individual states for crimes, of which the United States has committed many. Of course, they should NOT have this sort of power over non-members of the UN, which would make the organization as bad as it's members. As for boundaries, people can live and grow within them and go to the extremes to ensure they never overpopulate (culling off parts of the populace when it grew too large, etc.), interact with other countries on the most limited basis such as trade, or have no borders and learn and grow as a species, like we're supposed to. Nothing is perfect, but all of the presented options are better than what we have now. Also, you said Iraq again. Also, perhaps I should have clarified my position on the MB. We should not support a civil war. We should depose the MB, because that appears to be what the United States wants, and what the people of Egypt want. But we should not allow the slaughter of their members because of what their representative has done or what he could have done, nor should we allow for a military takeover. A junta can end worse than a dictatorship, or simply spiral back into one. Vote V, and the best of luck to my opponent.


dang lol I keep doing that. Saying Iraq instead of Iran. I of course meant Iran in both instances so my bad on that. Well I fully enjoyed debating with you. Good times and you gave me a lot to think on while arguing with you. I do feel like this came down to a conflict of beliefs rather then a battle of the facts so I don't think we will get to many voters on this but it was still fun none the less. Their really isn't anything to add in my final round since everything that could be said has already been said. Once again this debate was very enjoyable and best of luck to you and Ill see you around :)
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate failed in the resolution, but I believe Pro made far more logical arguments towards the resolution and so I award argument points. Source points have to go to Pro for providing sources. S&G go to Con, as Pro did make mistakes and admitted them. I would like to point out, that Cons arguments were difficult to read, so if Pro did not concede these points, I would have called it a tie. Regarding conduct points, these must go to Pro as Con was not very well disciplined making unwarranted attacks on Pro. Good luck to both in the future.